Sculpture and ethnological exhibits fill most of the British Museum, but some excellent pictures are also tucked away at odd corners in its depths. The Grenville Library, on the right of the entrance hall, shows under glass a changing exhibit of MEDIEVAL ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS, with bizarrely decorative, strongly rhythmic drawings and flat color-patterns in great variety of national and individual styles. Most distinctive are the English works, especially the eleventh century Gospels, the twelfth century Life of St. Guthlac, and a Psalter, Apocalypse, Missal and Hours of the Virgin of later dates. GREEK VASE DRAWINGS are shown on the upper floor, at left, especially in the Second and Third Vase Rooms. The art appears at its height in the Athenian black-figured vases of the sixth century B.C., and in the red-figured vases labelled ” Transition from Severe to Fine Style” and “Finest Style.” Especially notable are the drawings by SOTADES on white surfaces, and the large Combat of Amazons and Heroes.
On the second floor of King Edward VIPs Gallery is a changing exhibit of drawings and etchings by REMBRANDT, BLAKE and others, and of PERSIAN AND INDIAN MINIATURES, CHINESE AND JAPANESE PAINTINGS AND PRINTS. Some typical examples of these oriental paintings are discussed in the following pages. Other Chinese pictures of importance are the Admonitions of the Instructress in the Palace, by KU K’AI CHIN, of the fourth century A.D., delicate and sophisticated in line drawing; the magnificent large fresco of Three Bodhisattvas; the Sung dynasty Lotus and White Heron. The Japanese SESSHU is represented by Hotei and Children; MATABEI by two Dancers.